Voter models with contrarian agents

Naoki Masuda*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


In the voter and many other opinion formation models, agents are assumed to behave as congregators (also called the conformists); they are attracted to the opinions of others. In this study I investigate linear extensions of the voter model with contrarian agents. An agent is either congregator or contrarian and assumes a binary opinion. I investigate three models that differ in the behavior of the contrarian toward other agents. In model 1, contrarians mimic the opinions of other contrarians and oppose (i.e., try to select the opinion opposite to) those of congregators. In model 2, contrarians mimic the opinions of congregators and oppose those of other contrarians. In model 3, contrarians oppose anybody. In all models, congregators are assumed to like anybody. I show that even a small number of contrarians prohibits the consensus in the entire population to be reached in all three models. I also obtain the equilibrium distributions using the van Kampen small-fluctuation approximation and the Fokker-Planck equation for the case of many contrarians and a single contrarian, respectively. I show that the fluctuation around the symmetric coexistence equilibrium is much larger in model 2 than in models 1 and 3 when contrarians are rare.

Original languageEnglish
Article number052803
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Nov 4
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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